Caps dismiss six senior players

Farai Jere

CAPS United have wielded the axe on six senior players, including skipper Ronald Chitiyo, for leading an industrial action a few hours before their Castle Lager Premier Soccer League match against Cranborne Bullets at the National Sports Stadium on Sunday.

Goalkeeper Simba Chinani, defender Dennis Dauda, midfielder Devon Chafa, strikers Rodwell Chinyengetere and Clive Augusto were among those dismissed.

The Cranborne Bullets match could have been declared a walkover if the Green Machine bosses had not run around to settle part of the outstanding dues for the players to take to the field.

The strike caused a 45-minute delay to the start of the match.

Predictably, Caps went on to lose the match 2-0 with Brain Muzondiwa scoring both goals in either half.

It was Caps United’s second defeat on the bounce. More importantly, it was their first home defeat of the campaign.

Caps United boss Farai Jere said the decision to sack the bad apples was prompted by their failure to deliver.

“I have fired the six players. I don’t want to see them at Caps United. The reason is that results have not been coming. It is not consistent with their profiles. Their letters of dismissal have already been written and I am signing them right now. You can imagine, their salaries are paid up, they are up to date, but they participate in industrial action simply because they have not been paid bonuses for two matches. They want to be paid in United States dollars. They were also disrespectful to the coaches. Imagine, they selected their starting 11 where Chinani was the coach and even called for the substitution of Joseph Tulani. These players are bringing football into disrepute. Can I tolerate this?” Jere said.

The Caps boss said the decision was necessary considering they had not seen commensurate returns from their investment in the players.

The Green Machine are a massive 12 points behind pacesetters Dynamos and Chicken Inn and are slipping out of the league title race before the halfway stage.

The Harare football giants were one of the busiest teams on the transfer market before the start of the campaign where they signed experienced players who include Chinyengetere, Chafa, Dauda and Augusto.

Chitiyo — the team captain —  has been unwell in the past few days and Jere was paying his medical bills.

Although he has not been training, he showed up ahead of the match against Cranborne Bullets and was caught up in the industrial action.

After parting ways with the six players, Caps are looking to promote junior players into the team, with goalkeeper Tatenda Munditi set to come in as a direct replacement for Chinani. It remains to be seen whether the Green Machine will be able to mount a serious challenge in the championship this term.

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